• Cr Mark Edwards on one of the new nature trails near Whistling Kite Wetlands on Russell Island
Newly completed trails on Russell Island will be a boost to the fledgling island tourism industry and to fire safety.
The wide walking and trafficable trails are designed to encourage visitors and locals to make use of the network of pathways.
The work has been carried out by Redland City Council with a financial contribution from Bay Island Conservation.
Cr Edwards originally had a walking track policy for the islands as part of his original election campaign, and the conservation group also proposed a network of island tracks that could open up more than 21 kilometres of wetlands, flora and fauna on Russell Island.
There is a similar concept for Macleay Island.
Council has recently cleared and prepared nearly 4 kilometres of walking trails that are ready for use, adding to previous trails Cr Edwards has had started on the opposite side to Whistling Kite.
Signs are about to be located at the top end of High Street, bordering the Whistling Kite Wetlands that will show a map of the extensive area and the walking trails that are ready for use.
There are three tracks involved:
1. Two section off the top of High Street bordering the wetlands a total of .5 kilometre in length;
2. A section of two lengths off Minjerriba Road to Centre Road, Russell Island, a total of .87 of a kilometre;
3. A major walking trail with two entrances off Centre Road a total of 1.35 kilometres in length with a special observation area over the wetlands.
"The trails have been made extra wide so they can be used by both the public and fire services, improving access for any future fire fighting and fire prevention needs," Cr Mark Edwards said.
The councillor said more trails would be added as funds became available.
He was thankful to the Bay Islands Conservation Organisation and the Quandamooka people who had given support to the walking and cycle trails project.
"Once the entire 21 kilometres is completed some time in the future, we will have a major tourism attraction for Russell Island.
"There will be many who will want to come here and experience our unique wetlands via these new trails," Mark Edwards said.